Redefining Streets as Neighbourhoods


Kaenat Seth

UDES 503

Growing up in a rapidly expanding city, I saw how urbanization started shaping the public spaces around me and the emergence of a stark disparity between desirable and undesirable neighborhoods. I moved here to Canada, only to find that it was the same systemic norms just set in a very different context. Vancouver’s population is projected to grow 3 times in the next 30 years and consequently the 22 puzzle pieces that are its neighborhoods would not have sufficient area for expansion. The solution lies in ‘Redefining Streets as Neighborhoods’ which account for 56% of the city’s area. Kingsway Street has ample historical significance & its expansive auto-centric panorama is stagnant since the early 1900's making it the perfect site for putting this idea to test. Three principles that guide this project are designing resilient and flexible spaces; making streets our third place and neighborhood integration from rigid boxes to free flowing linear landscapes. The project principles thus translate into three big moves of shaping the physical, the experience and the networks that connect them. The proposal focuses on identifying the problems in each of these spheres, categorizing the existing conditions, prototyping enveloping solutions; and consequently developing a toolkit for the entire city. The intersection of these block, street and public realm typologies create spaces that are inclusive, adaptable, and sustainable and foster opportunities for the community to live, work, play and grow.